“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bloomington in McLean County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Risk of the Road

Bloody 66 and Insurance

Risk of the Road Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Beverly Pfingsten, June 10, 2012
1. Risk of the Road Marker
Illinois Route 66 was dangerous.

Curves, crossroads, and bridge abutments doomed many speeding motorists, giving rise to the nickname, "Bloody 66." After World War II, curves were straightened, towns bypassed, and four lanes built to improve safety. New laws enforced by Illinois State Police slowed speeders. Insurance companies like Bloomington's State Farm, offered motorists protection from loss should they have an accident.

Accidents on Bloody 66
Patrolman Chester Henry investigates a 1959 accident on Route 9 east of Bloomington. From 1957 to his retirement in 1984, Route 66 was a part of his daily life.

"I would pull just about anyone over to issue a ticket, including TV and country music celebrities, as well as politicians headed to and from the Statehouse in Springfield"
Lieutenant Chester Henry

Chester Henry set a record one year for most tickets written. Wary motorists slowed down when they came through his Route 66 patrol area between Dwight and Atlanta. he was inducted into the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame in 1993.

State Farm Insurance: Sharing Risks
A small rural

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mutual insurance company began here in 1922. Its founder, George Mecherle, believed that since farmers drove less and had fewer losses than city drivers, they should pay less for insurance. With a reputation for low rates and fair payments on claims, State Farm quickly grew into the largest auto insurer in America.
Erected by Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRoads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the U.S. Route 66 series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1959.
Location. 40° 28.819′ N, 88° 59.627′ W. Marker is in Bloomington, Illinois, in McLean County. Marker is at the intersection of North Main Street and Jefferson Street, on the left when traveling north on North Main Street. Marker is at the northeast corner of McLean County Museum of History. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bloomington IL 61701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bloomington, Illinois (within shouting distance of this marker); Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District (within shouting distance of this marker); World War II War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln The Lawyer (within shouting distance of this marker); The Phoenix Block
Risk of the Road Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, September 28, 2020
2. Risk of the Road Marker
Wide view; McLean County Museum of History is in the background
(within shouting distance of this marker); Center Street Site (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sigmund Livingston (about 300 feet away); Phoenix Hall (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bloomington.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 16, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 809 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on July 16, 2012, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   2. submitted on September 28, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.

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Apr. 13, 2024